For a long time I've been meaning to join the food co-op. Today I went to the orientation. I was struck by the similarities to our time bank. In both cases, people earn hours for working. A difference is that the food co-op also has paid staff. The food co-op has really taken off, it's huge. There are 13,000 members, including 1,300 working members. There are 200 paid employees, many of whom have chosen to become members.
In the time bank, I think a lot of the reason we are floundering is because we do not have paid staff. People are busy, and the time bank is at the bottom of the priority list.
For the orientation, one of the founding members talked about the history and philosophy. He said that nowadays, fewer co-ops have member-workers. People just want to pay to join, and get a discount. They don't want to put time into it.
One reason I am joining is because I think that's one of my passions, to work with people to create a community around common values.
I have this ongoing struggle to figure out how to earn a living. I don't have a clear sense that this will lead to a paying job, but I do have a sense that getting involved in this sort of thing is something I want to do, and maybe if I follow my nose, it will become clearer.